9 alternative jobs that benefit from coding skills

February 13, 2019

Tina May

Co Founder of Institute of Code

Type “coding skills” into Google and you’ll be inundated with jobs like Front-end Developer, Computer Programmer and Computer Network Architect.

While these jobs offer a rewarding career for many, the thought of sitting behind a computer all day isn’t one that appeals to everyone.

If you don’t want one of those techy-type jobs, here are nine alternative careers where coding skills are in high demand.

 

1. Entrepreneur

If you are starting your own business you’ll quickly realize just how many tasks you’ll have to manage. Depending on the size of your team, a day in the life as a business owner will probably include everything from product innovation to project management and everything in-between.

With today’s increasingly online marketplace, you’ll also be managing your online presence, a job that will be one of your most important roles. Whether it’s a simple contact website, a blog, or an e-commerce store, you’ll need to choose the right host, domain, plug-ins and Web Developer. Coding knowledge will make this part of your job much simpler: you will be more familiar with what you want and be comfortable communicating that to your web developer. Plus not only can it be cheaper in the long run, it’ll give you more time to juggle the million other responsibilities you’ll have.

2. Human Resources and Recruitment

Surprised? Don’t be. Technology is becoming an essential component of many lower-skilled occupations – and HR is no exception.

Understanding the technical skills that so many competitive companies are looking for allows Recruiters and HR departments to thoroughly assess candidates.

When reading resumes for a position in a tech industry, knowing what ‘HTML knowledge’ or ‘basic understanding of Javascript and CSS’ means will help you weed through candidates quickly and effectively – preventing you from wasting time on people who aren’t a good match.

3. Content Marketer

Ever read an eBooks on health and fitness or that seven part email series on ‘How to improve your email deliverability’? Those eBooks, blogs and toolkits were created by Content Marketers.  

The modern writer is making more money from salary and higher-paying contract jobs for creating this kind of content than they were from journalism and more traditional writing roles. 

Companies use this written collateral as a ‘lead magnet’ – a product designed to entice readers to want more of their high-quality offerings.

So who’s looking for content marketers? Everyone.

Neil Patel, Seattle-based digital marketing guru and growth hacker, recently published an article called Four Things to Look for When Hiring Content Marketers. What’s one of the four things they’re looking for? Someone comfortable dabbling in code and design. “Coding is seriously intimidating for most marketers, let alone writers,” Patel says. “But the basic knowledge of CSS, HTML5, and Javascript is helpful in changing the formatting of your content.”

4. User Experience Designer (UX Designer)

For almost every user experience (UX) designer job application you will find “Coding skills are a plus”. User experience (UX) designers are the people who create enjoyable and seamless online experiences for customers (you can read more about it in this helpful Adobe article). Think about how you feel when you use a platform like Shopify or HubSpot – that experience was designed by a UX designer.

A UX Designer role is great for polymaths interested in working for startups with room for growth – as the job is ever shifting and all encompassing.

The Renaissance man or woman suited for this modern, evolving position will find themselves relying on their coding skills whilst collaborating with the engineers and product designers on their team.

5. Graphic Designer

Absolutely any type of designer can benefit from coding skills. Graphic designers that understand different coding languages are better able to structure their pages and enhance images with sizing, colouring and other effects. Bottom line, coding enables designers to have more control over how their creations look.

CreativePro, a website where creatives can keep up with the latest industry trends, listed several reasons for graphic designers to learn to code. Here are a few:

  • HTML is the most respected and in-demand method of designing websites{: .present-before-paste}
  • You have control over every aspect of the website{: .present-before-paste}
  • You can modify content management themes for platforms like WordPress{: .present-before-paste}
  • Having the ability to code websites positions you better to compete for jobs{: .present-before-paste}

Companies to consider: Hulu, SHAPE Australia, Away, and Stella and Dot Family of Brands.

6. Sales

We all have that one friend in sales who makes all the money and travels too much and seems to simultaneously work all the time and never work. You know the one. The one who always make you think – ‘I should have gone into sales’.

It’s not just any sales that you want to be in right now, though. Technology sales is one of the most lucrative industries to be in – offering great base salaries with often uncapped commission potential. Oh and tech sales positions are also often virtual. So you can work whilst drinking coconuts by the pool.

Other than a ‘winning personality’, a successful salesman requires coding skills when it comes to selling products involve, well, coding. Understanding your product and being able to speak the language of the industry will give you the competitive advantage in a tough but lucrative industry.

Edward Chui, leader of Customer Success and Sales at DigitalOcean, said learning to code taught him “to speak the language of the web application world,” leading him to landing his dream job at one of the world’s largest SaaS companies.

Companies to consider:  HubSpot, EMC, Dell, SalesForce, and AppFolio.

7. Project Manager

Speaking of lucrative jobs, Project Manager has become a popular position for those in the tech industry. The job involves coordinating between product development engineers, marketing, sales and other departments within a company to ensure collaboration and success on projects. A project manager, for example, might assign a member of the marketing team to write on-brand copy for the sales team’s new landing page.

In tech companies, the project manager will work with the product team to determine everything that needs to be done in tandem with the engineering team – and understanding the language of coding makes the job a whole lot easier. So coding knowledge is the ticket to an eye-catching Project Manager application.

Project managers often rely on agile software like Atlassian to manage their team’s Software Development projects, but a working knowledge of these agile tools isn’t the be-all-end-all for landing this job.

8. Technical Writer

Technical writing positions are usually a great option for writers looking to make a steady salary while also enjoying the flexibility of working remotely. The job of a technical writer is to act as a middleman between “engineer talk” and the “layperson talk”. They are the ones in charge of describing tech products – how they work and how to use them – to people who might not be familiar with the technical language being used.

Coding is sometimes a necessity in this job, depending on the products or services you’ll be writing about. Often, technical writers have experience with the type of products and a pre-existing knowledge of the industry. So, for jobs at cool companies like Google, you’ll want to study up and learn the language before applying.

9. Consulting

Consultants also are another kind of middleman between the lovable nerds in engineering and the optimization-driven businessmen in the other room. As such a  consultant with coding knowledge will gain an unfair advantage when competing in the realm of Big Data companies.

Medium.com lists coding amongst the seven skills that every consultant should know, saying that “understanding software architecture is like being able to read blueprint.”

Consultants often work for consulting firms and are hired on a contract-basis.
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These nine jobs are just a few of those available to people with coding skills. And thanks to the growing might of the technology industry, new job opportunities are being created everyday.

Best of all is – you don’t need a degree in a technology field or on-the-job experience to be a strong candidate. A coding bootcamp or online course can give you the knowledge and skills you need to start your new career.

So forget listing skills like “proficiency in Microsoft Office” and “typing” on your resume, and watch how the job market opens up for you when you can add coding skills to your wheelhouse.

 


Written by: Tina May

Co Founder of Institute of Code